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Does anyone ever sell or rent valuable items to a Museum?

 
 
Ande
 
Reply Fri 12 Dec, 2008 03:06 pm
I'm an author and I have a character who has inherited something very valuable. The character isn't rich, so she needs money. She is trying to fulfill her mother's wish that the valuable item be given to the museum, but out of necessity, she'd like to get some money out of the transaction
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Type: Question • Score: 4 • Views: 12,316 • Replies: 8
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Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Dec, 2008 03:26 pm
@Ande,
Museums buy artwork all the time. I have never heard of them renting works. They do accept loans, but money seems to be the issue here for your character. The owner of the artwork should have the work appraised, get a few good photos taken and then do research for art institutions that might be interested. She can either solicit the institutions herself or work through an art broker. How you want to handle these details in your story is up to you.

Just a little FYI - the best prices are paid by private collectors through private dealers (not even galleries). By offering the work to a museum your character will be getting a lower price than what she might get by going to a private collector. I assume this important since the character is following the wishes of the mother who left her the work.
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sullyfish6
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Dec, 2008 06:32 pm
She can donate it to a museum or historical society, take the tax deduction.

But that's not cash in the pocket.

How about pawning it - until she gets on her feet?
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Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Dec, 2008 07:05 pm
I have never sold or rented anything to a museum but have donated some items of value that were inherited family heirlooms that I nor anybody else wanted. But some in the family thought they should be retained. It was less offensive to those individuals to know that the objects were displayed and properly acknowledged in the museum.

The museum did not pay me for the items, but did assist me in finding competent appraisers who could certify a fair value for them, and then I was able to take a nice tax deduction for the donation.

Doesn't put money immediately into your pocket though.

Some of the best deals can be find via auction on E-bay though.
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Butrflynet
 
  2  
Reply Fri 12 Dec, 2008 07:57 pm
@Ande,
Ande wrote:

I'm an author and I have a character who has inherited something very valuable. The character isn't rich, so she needs money. She is trying to fulfill her mother's wish that the valuable item be given to the museum, but out of necessity, she'd like to get some money out of the transaction


Here's two articles that may aid you in your research for your book:

http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview/id/784018.html

http://www.artbusiness.com/donateart.html


Good luck with your writing!
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parados
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Dec, 2008 10:42 pm
@Ande,
Museums buy items, usually at auctions.

The item is valuable. The owner of that item knows a curator at a museum. The curator is willing to buy it for less than auction price. The curator gets a great deal. The poor owner gets some money but it goes to a museum like mother wanted. The curator is a piece of slime that turns around and sells the item at auction by proxy, hiding the fact that he bought it himself. He then buys it for the museum at auction price pocketing a tidy profit. No one is the wiser until the Russian hooker sleeping with the curator ends up dead. Hilarity ensues.
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Dec, 2008 09:52 pm
@parados,
Sounds like an idea for one of Douglas Preston's mystery books.
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Ande
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Dec, 2008 09:15 pm
Thank you all for your suggestions. By the sound of things, I may have to adjust my storyline a bit. But as it is early in the book, that shouldn't be a problem.
I rather like the idea of a private collector . . . But I do have to make sure my character keeps the promise to her mother, because it is that promise that puts the her in danger.

Thank you again, so very much.
Merry Christmas
Ande
0 Replies
 
Ande
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Dec, 2008 09:20 pm
@parados,
Parados, maybe I can hire you to write the book! :-) It's the "hilarity ensues" that really got me.
Smiling,
Ande
0 Replies
 
 

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